I saw a meme this morning that says “We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective I don’t know what is.” Boy they weren’t kidding because that definitely puts a whole lot of things in perspective. 18 years really isn’t that long, not when you look it in time spent with your children. Sure they will still be around after they become adults, we’ll maybe, unless they go off to college, decide to travel the world, or maybe decide the need a change in scenery. Even if they do stay close it won’t be like it was when they were in your home. Becoming a parent changes you, it’s kind of like you branch off of your original self into this kind of the same but kind of new person. You experience a love like no other, you develop an attachment to this tiny human you’ve created and that attachment will grow stronger and you grow together. Your child will grow into their own person and you will grow into the person you’re now meant to be and then one day they will be off on their own and you will branch off from your new self and change into the post child version of yourself.
Summers are meant to be fun but man can they be exhausting. If you have school age children, your food bill will surely increase as will the need to find things to occupy them. Three months is a long time to have to entertain someone! Not that you need to do things everyday but surely you will want them to have fun. Summers are a great time for making memories, whether it’s camping, arts and crafts, family vacations, or the movies, we recently went to the drive in and it was a blast. I absolutely recommend seeing Toy Story 4 and the new Aladdin (my new favorite live action remake). Whatever you decide to do, the fact that you are spending time with your kids and making memories is what’s important. I know as parents we all joke well okay half joke about being ready for kids to go back to school by the time August hits. A structured routine and not being eaten out of house and home definitely have their benefits but when you put it into perspective 18 summers isn’t really that many. When our kids are grown we’re going to cherish all the memories we made and probably wish we had time to make more.
Parenting is such an emotional whirlwind, it hard and it’s exhausting, but it’s also beautiful and rewarding. It’s okay to be tired or to not want to spend every waking moment with your kids, it’s even okay to be ready for them to go back to school, just don’t forget to slow down. Put the phone down, take them all in, be present, and make memories. Make the most of the time that you have with them, 18 years sounds like a long time but when your kids are grown and off living their own lives there’s going to be times where you will miss them being little, miss their smell, and being able to still pick them up. You’ll miss taking them to the park, or the crazy trips to the drive in, you might even wish you had just one more summer.